Advent November 15, 2021 Dearest Friend, Advent, as we all know, is the liturgical season during which we prepare spiritually for the coming of Christ on the feast of Christmas. Many families use a special calendar –an Advent calendar—as a reminder of the importance of this time. Each day gives us a reminder of the peace, love, joy, and hope spoken of in the pre-Christmas liturgical readings. These four ideals are often considered during our time at Mass, but are we losing track of them during the chaos of the week? Perhaps we are. Peace. Love. Joy. Hope. Whether your prayers are for you and loved ones or the world at large, these four words can be beacons of light leading to the bright promise of Christmas. Let us find a few more minutes a day, a few hours a week, for just this brief season of Advent. Put aside the holiday to-do list, the ongoing worries each of us faces, and remember why this season is so important in our community of faith. During the coming weeks as autumn turns to winter, let’s not get lost in the hustle and bustle of decorating and searching for gifts. Let’s, instead, focus on the real meaning of Christmas. Although, as Sisters, we have chosen to focus all our energies on our students, patients, residents under our care, and dear Sisters with whom we share our lives, we too, can forget to focus on peace, love, joy, and hope which are the essential elements of the season. This is a time of year when we ask you to show your support with a contribution. Time and again your donations have come when most needed to care for our Sisters or to improve our homes. Those gifts are always appreciated. This year, we continue our efforts in meeting the needs of the Sisters during their senior years with any support we receive. Today we remind all our friends, family, and supporters that we hope you will send us your prayer intentions. This Advent we also invite you to join us in prayer and reflection each morning or evening and remember that Christ is coming. Please use our weekly guides below. May the Holy Family continue to bless you. Gratefully yours in Christ, Sister M. William McGovern, FDC P.S. Please consider making a donation to our Sisters which will be put to immediate use. Perhaps you can use these weekly topics as your “Advent Calendar” and focus on the four gifts of the season. Week One- Peace -Let’s look at the whole spectrum of peace in the world, in our country, in our families, and in our hearts. Most of us will never be able to enact world peace or anything beyond maybe peace in our families; but we can work on peace in our hearts. This first week of Advent let’s pray for peace for ourselves, our loved ones, and our neighbors. Week Two – Love – As we enter week two of Advent let us try to remember that love is not the sentimental “Hallmark” feeling. Love is an act of the will. We may not “love” the person who rubs us the wrong way, but we can pray for them and seek a way to show them kindness. This is just a small way to fulfill God’s request that we love Him, all His creations, and ourselves. Week Three – Joy- Once again joy is not that bubbly, happy feeling. It is that satisfying sense of pleasure that we get when we have either done something nice for someone or better still, when we see something or someone that reminds us of a blessed time in our lives. Let us try to look for a moment of joy each day of this week Week Four – Hope- I believe that God in His wisdom saves the best for last! No matter how bad the news reports are or the headlines in the papers are or how much suffering we see in our home life at times at times, we can always have hope knowing that God is with us, providing strength and guidance. Hope in and of itself is the best Christmas gift we could be given.